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[no subject]

I think that discussion of standardization of Lisp at this time would be
a waste of time.

* Mistakes will always be made in language design. The worst thing you can
  do is to tie yourself to your mistakes by adopting a standard for something 
  you didn't even mean to have done.

* Things may not always go the way we like. I didn't like &keywords going in,
  but that's life. I'm sure there were those who still mourn the introduction 
  of hunks into Maclisp. That's the way things go. Things may go down the 
  wrong path, but I would prefer to see that happen than to have us stand our 
  ground thinking we have ``the way'' when we know darned well we do not.

  Some time maybe 5 or 10 years from now, maybe more, when we have some 
  perspective on the language if it still exists, then perhaps we can look
  back and decide on a standard. I don't think we're at the stage where we
  have the wisdom to make a useful standard.

* While it is regretable that some users find that certain Lisp changes break
  their code, they must remember that they always have the option of freezing
  an old copy of Lisp and refusing to use the newer versions.

  Users of Fortran 2, Fortran 3, etc. did this sort of thing. Major changes
  occurred in the language between these versions and code that ran in one 
  didn't always run in the other. So Maclisp 1914 and Maclisp 1997 share this
  same feature. The difference is perhaps that the evolution is faster, but
  there is still nothing stopping anyone from simply continuing to use Maclisp
  1914 until hell freezes over if he doesn't want to accept the supposed 
  benefits of the newer releases.

* Besides, computer standards don't really accomplish that much anyway.

  They tend to try to be weak enough that all dialects can hope to conform. 
  Since the dialects that try to conform are basically incompatible anyway,
  the standard serves litttle value. It may tell you when you exit the bounds
  of Lisp and enter that of Algol, but it won't tell you that a program written
  for one Lisp dialect will run in another.